As mitigation efforts relax, AARP talks about what families should know if a loved one is a long-term care resident

Written by on May 21, 2021

As mitigation efforts relax, AARP talks about what families should know if a loved one is a long-term care resident

By Brittany Sweeney

May 21, 2021

Photo| Courtesy of Wolf Administration press release.

Gov. Tom Wolf is relaxing COVID restrictions at the end of the month so what does that mean for long-term care residents?

AARP Pennsylvania came up with a one-page memo to guide families with loved ones in elder care homes.

Pennsylvania is a state with one of the highest concentrations of seniors in the nation.

Bill Johnston-Walsh, AARP Pennsylvania state director, says it has come up with eight questions that families should be asking a nursing facility whether they have someone in care already or if they’re planning to move a loved one in.

“The questions ranged from: ‘What is your testing like for COVID-19? Has there been an outbreak within the last two weeks? What are your visitation policies? What are you doing with staffing is staffing being, you know, both vaccinated and tested?’ It’s basically asking the key questions, so that they have a better understanding of what that facility is doing for their loved one.”

Johnston-Walsh says the questions also have to do with vaccinations. All the questions can be accessed on AARP Pennsylvania’s website.

“We’re really focused now on making sure that the nursing homes get you know, what they need, because you’re going to remember there is always going to be a constant turn with regards to new individuals coming in, and they may not be vaccinated, so we want to make sure they’re continuing to be vaccinated in those facilities,” he says. 

Johnston-Walsh says over the past year they’ve seen isolation, depression and health issues on the rise among seniors.

AARP would like to see more nursing facilities open up, he says, and allow relatives in to finally give a hug to their loved ones.

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